Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle
|Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle|
Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle (Chitra indica) also known as small-headed softshell turtle is an endangered species of softshell turtle found in rivers of South Asia. It is very large and feeds on fish, frogs, crustaceans and molluscs, which it ambushes. In the past it was included in Chitra chitra; a species restricted to Southeast Asia using current taxonomy.
This species is very large with a carapace up to 1.1 m (3.6 ft).
- Overall color: olive to deep olive-green;
- Very complex midline (vertebral) carapacial pattern;
- Midline (vertebral) carapacial stripe present;
- Complex radiating costal stripes;
- Paramedian neck stripes forming a bell-like pattern on anterior carapace absent;
- Neck stripes do not form a continuous light rim around carapace;
- No distinct pair of neck stripes;
- Dark speckling on "light" (head and neck) stripes;
- Anterior neck "V" divergence point on neck;
- 3-4 forelimb lamellae;
- No peri-orbital X pattern;
- No distinct peri-orbital ocelli;
- No distinct naso-orbital triangular "figure";
- Few, if any, black dots present on chin pattern.
This species is found in the Sutlaj and Indus river basins of Pakistan, and Ganges, Godavari, Mahanadi and other rivers basins of India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Although widespread, it occurs in low densities, even within protected areas. It is threatened by hunting and habitat loss. It prefers clear, large or medium rivers with sandy bottoms. It spends most of time concealed below the sand, sometimes with only the tip of the nose exposed.
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- Reptiles of Dudhwa tiger reserve... dudhwatigerreserve.com
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